Daily Current Affairs: 6th February 2020: The Hindu+PIB
The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The Hindu, The Indian Express, Business Standard, Press Information Bureau, etc.
As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.
Table of Contents
Context: Two reports has been released by World Health Organization on World Cancer Day i.e., 5th February. According to the reports 1 in 10 Indians (10%) will develop cancer during their lifetime, and 1 in 15 Indians (67%) would die of cancer.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REPORT
- In 2018, India had an estimated 1.16 million new cancer cases, 7,84,000 deaths and 2.26 million five-year prevalent cases.
- Globally, there were approx 9.6 million cancer deaths, out of which the most were due to lung cancer at 18.4%, followed by colorectum cancer (9.2%), stomach cancer (8.2%), liver (8.2%), breast (6.6%) and cancer of the oesophagus (5.3%).
- The six most common cancer types in India are breast, at 1,62,000, followed by oral (1,20,000), cervical (97,000), lung (68,000) and stomach and colorectal, at 57,000 each. These accounted for 49% of all new cancer cases.
- In case of men, of the 5,70,000 new cancer cases, oral cancer incidence was the highest at 92,000 followed by lung cancer at 49,000.
- In case of women, of the 5,87,000 new cancer cases, breast cancer incidence was the highest at 1,62,000, followed by cervical at 97,000.
- On a global scale, if the present trends continue, there will be a 60 % increase in cancer cases over the next two decades.
About National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP)
The National Cancer Registry Programme had been launched by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in December 1981. It has been working on the objectives of collection of authentic data on cancer occurrence, undertaking epidemiological studies, developing human resource in cancer epidemiology and registration and helping National Cancer Control Program (NCCP) of our country in planning, monitoring and evaluation of cancer control activities.
This began with a population based cancer registries (PBCRs) at Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and hospital-based cancer registries (HBCRs) at Chandigarh, Dibrugarh, and Thiruvananthapuram.
The NCRP, as of now, has a network of 28 population-based and 9 hospital-based cancer registries (HBCRs). The broad and overall objectives of the NCDIR is to sustain and develop a national research data-base on cancer, diabetes, CVD and Stroke through recent advances in electronic information technology with a national collaborative network, so as to undertake etiological, epidemiological, clinical studies and research in these areas.
TREATMENT OF CANCER IN INDIA
The Government is implementing National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS), with a focus on strengthening infrastructure, human resource development, health promotion & awareness generation, early diagnosis, management and referral to an appropriate level institution for treatment. In order to tackle the challenge of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD), including cancer, a total of 616 NCD Clinics at District level and 3,827 NCD Clinics at Community Health Centre level have been set up under NPCDCS.
Population level initiative for prevention, control and screening for common NCDs (diabetes, hypertension and common cancers viz. oral, breast and cervical cancer) has also been rolled out under the National Health Mission (NHM) in over 215 districts. Under NHM support is provided to States/UTs to provide free essential medicines and diagnostic services for primary and secondary health care needs.
Screening of common NCDs including three common cancers i.e. oral, breast and cervical is also an integral part of service delivery under Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres.
Strengthening of Tertiary Care for Cancer Scheme, in order to enhance the facilities for tertiary care of cancer, is setting up of 19 State Cancer Institutes and 20 Tertiary Care Cancer Centres.
Further, Oncology is also one of the focus areas in case of new AIIMS and many upgraded institutions under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). Setting up of National Cancer Institute at Jhajjar,Haryana and strengthening of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, are also steps in the same direction.
In Government hospitals, cancer treatment is either free or highly subsidized. Treatment of cancers is also available under Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY).
Besides this, Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) Deendayal outlets have been opened at 195 Institutions/Hospitals with an objective to make available Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases drugs and implants at discounted prices to the patients.
Under the umbrella scheme of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi, financial assistance is provided to families living below threshold poverty line for their treatment, including treatment of cancer, in Government hospitals.
Context: As part of her Budget Speech, FM Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government was abolishing an anti-dumping duty that was levied on imports of a chemical called Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) in “public interest”.
What is an Anti-Dumping Duty? It is a protectionist tariff that a domestic government imposes on foreign imports that it believes are priced below fair market value. Dumping is basically a process where a company exports a product at a price lower than the price it normally charges in its own home market. For the sake of protection, many countries impose stiff duties on products they believe are being dumped in their national market, undercutting local businesses and markets. What is Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA)? Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) is a critical raw material which is used to make various products, including polyester fabrics. It makes up for around 70-80% of a polyester product and is, therefore, very important to those involved in the manufacture of man-made fabrics or their components. This includes products like polyester staple fibre and spun yarn. Cushions and sofas may have polyester staple fibre fillings. Some sportswear, swimsuits, dresses, trousers, curtains, sofa covers, jackets, car seat covers and bed sheets have a certain proportion of polyester in them. Why such a decision taken by the Government? There has been persistent demand that they should be allowed to source that particular product at an affordable rate, even if it means importing it. Further, the easy availability of this “critical input” at competitive prices was desirable to unlock “immense” potential in the textile sector, seen as a “significant” employment generator. The duty had meant importers were paying an extra $27-$160 for every 1,000 kg of PTA that they wanted to import from countries like China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iran, Korea and Thailand. Hence, removing the duty will allow PTA users to source from international markets and may make it as much as $30 per 1,000 kg cheaper than now. Why this anti-dumping duty has been place in first place? The anti-dumping duty on PTA was imposed following the move of two domestic manufacturers, MCC PTA India Corp Pvt Ltd and Reliance Industries Ltd, who approached the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) in October 2013. The companies, which submitted that they accounted for over 50% of the domestic PTA industry, had argued that some countries had been exporting the product to India at prices lower than its value in their own domestic markets. This dumping of PTA into the Indian market had a “significant” adverse impact on the domestic industry. Following an investigation, DGTR imposed anti-dumping duties on PTA imported from South Korea and Thailand in 2014 and 2015, and from China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Iran and Malaysia in 2015 and 2016. Why this move is under controversy? Companies that use PTA to manufacture polyester products has claimed that the move went against the government’s vision of making the textiles sector a globally competitive industry as the move has left them with limited domestic suppliers of PTA. The companies had alleged that the product’s cost had become more expensive domestically, which made their own products pricier and less attractive for their domestic and international buyers which had led to a drop in exports of some of these products during 2014-16, and an increase in imports of the products they had been producing, as there was no safeguard mechanism against the imports of cheaper versions of these downstream polyester-based products. Further, the domestic industry had argued that domestic PTA producers had not only been unable to ramp up capacity to cater to demand for the product, shutdowns of their manufacturing facilities once a year for maintenance purposes had also led to shortages of the raw material. PTA users claim that they had not been manufacturing as much polyester as they were capable of, operating at 70% of their capacity at any given time. Is it the only product under such a duty? This is not the only product which has been included in anti-dumping duty framework. Apart from this, Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG), another raw material which is being used in the manufacturing of polyester, is currently the subject of another anti-dumping duty investigation which has been initiated by DGTR recently. This investigation was initiated after RIL, supported by another company (India Glycols Ltd) had argued that top MEG exporters like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates had been dumping the product and that the domestic industry was suffering “material” injury as a result.
Context: Ending decades of free entry to Indian tourists visiting Bhutan, the government in Thimphu has decided to levy a daily Rs 1,200 ($17) fee for “regional tourists” from India, the Maldives and Bangladesh, beginning July 2020.
The fee, which is hailed as a Sustainable Development Fee (SDF), is basically meant to help the government deal with increasing numbers in tourist traffic, which it is seeking to regulate through a new tourism policy. The decision is passed following the ‘Tourism Levy and Exemption Bill of Bhutan’, 2020. However, it is to be noted that the SDF is considerably lower than the $65 charged to other foreign tourists, who are also charged a compulsory flat “cover charge” of $250 per day. The more developed Western region of Bhutan has been the major tourist destination for Indians. Hence, in a move to promote tourism in Bhutan’s eastern region as well, the government has decided to drop SDF charges for tourists visiting 11 of 20 total districts that fall in the east from Trongsa to Trashigang. Children from India, Maldives and Bangladesh under the age of 5 will not have to pay the levy and those between 6 and 12 years will be required to pay only Rs 600. In 2018, of the total 2,74,000 tourists visiting Bhutan, the council estimated that about 2,00,000 were from the region, of which about 1,80,000 were from India. In contrast to other international tourists, who pay $250 (Approx. Rs 18,000) as a minimum charge per day per person, which includes a $65 a day “Sustainable Development Fee”, as well as a $40 visa charge, tourists from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives had so far paid no fees, and were able to cross over without visas, something that is now set to change.
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Context: As per the National Mental Health Survey, 2016, the prevalence of mental disorders in adults over the age of 18 years is about 10.6%. In order to address the burden of mental disorders, the Government is implementing the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in the country.
However, as per the study titled “The burden of mental disorders across the states of India: the Global Burden of Disease study 1990 – 2017” published in the Lancet Psychiatry on December 20, 2019, one in every seven people in India has mental disorder. KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PROGRAMME The Government of India has launched the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in 1982, keeping in view the heavy burden of mental illness in the community, and the absolute inadequacy of mental health care infrastructure in the country to deal with it. NMHP has three major components: (i) Treatment of Mentally ill. (ii) Rehabilitation. (iii) Prevention and promotion of positive mental health. Agencies like World Bank and WHO have been contacted to support various components of the programme. Funds are provided by the Govt. of India to the state governments and the nodal institutes to meet the expenditure on staff, equipments, vehicles, medicine, stationary, contingencies, training, etc. for initial 5 years and thereafter they should manage themselves. Govt. of India has constituted central Mental Health Authority to oversee the implementation of the Mental Health Act 1986. It provides for creation of state Mental Health Authority also to carry out the said functions. Under NMHP, Government is supporting implementation of the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) in 655 districts of the country for early detection, management and treatment of mental disorders/illnesses. Funds upto Rs. 4 lakh per annum are provided to each District under the DMHP for IEC and awareness generation activities in the community, schools, colleges, workplaces, with community involvement. Further, with the objective to address the shortage of qualified mental health professionals in the country, the Government is implementing Manpower Development Schemes for establishment of Centres of Excellence and strengthening/ establishment of Post Graduate (PG) Departments in mental health specialties.
Context: National Population Policy has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment towards voluntary and informed choice, target free approach and achievement of replacement level of fertility by simultaneously addressing the issues of contraception, maternal health and child survival.
BACKGROUND OF NATIONAL POPULATION POLICY The idea of development of a National Population Policy dates back to the period of months before the attainment of independence in 1946, when the Bhore Committee submitted its Report. This submission of report was followed by the launch of the Family Planning Programme in 1952, which coincided with the launch of the nationwide Community Development Programme. First statement regarding the National Population Policy was issued by the government after careful review of the demographic trends and of the Family Planning Programme, in 1976. This was followed by the 1977 Policy Statement on the Family Welfare Programme. It was in 1983 that the government adopted the National Health Policy, which emphasized the need for ‘securing the small family norm through voluntary efforts and moving towards the goal of population stabilization’. The Parliament underscored the need for a separate National Population Policy while adopting the Health Policy. Accordingly, the National Development Council (NDC) appointed a Committee on Population in 1991 under the chairmanship of Karunakaran, which submitted its report in 1993, recommending the formulation of a National Population Policy. Subsequently, an Expert Group headed by M.S. Swaminathan was appointed to prepare the draft of a national population policy. The National Population Policy (NPP) finally came into force in 2000. The Policy states that the “immediate objective of the NPP 2000 is to address the unmet needs for contraception, healthcare infrastructure, and health personnel, and to provide integrated service delivery for basic reproductive and child healthcare.” Medium-Term Objective: To bring the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to replacement levels by the year 2010, through vigorous implementation of inter-sectoral operational strategies. Long-Term Objective: To achieve a stable population by 2045, at a level consistent with the requirements of sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental protection. As a result of the Government’s efforts, the successes achieved are enumerated below:
- The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has declined from 2.9 in 2005 to 2.2 in 2017 (SRS).
- 25 out of 37 States/UTs have already achieved replacement level fertility of 2.1 or less.
- The Decadal growth rate has declined from 21.54% in 1999-2000 to 17.64 % during 2001-11.
- The Crude Birth Rate (CBR) has declined from 23.8 to 20.2 from 2005 to 2017 (SRS).
- The Teenage birth rate has halved from 16 % (NFHS III) to 8 % (NFHS IV).
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Context: The MoFPI is focusing on building cold chain infrastructure across the country, for seamless transfer of perishables from production to consumption areas, through the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY).
The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has sanctioned 39 Mega Food Parks and 298 Integrated Cold Chain Projects throughout the country to fill in the gaps across the value chain and establishing the Cold Chain Grid. ABOUT PMKSY The Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) was approved by the cabinet in May 2017 for the period of 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle. The scheme has now been renamed as the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY). OBJECTIVE: To supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agri-Waste. It is an umbrella scheme that incorporates ongoing schemes of the Ministry which are: (i) Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, (ii) Mega Food Park, (iii) Creation of Backward & Forward Linkages, (iv) Creation/ Expansion of Food Processing and Preservation Capacities (v) Agro Processing Clusters (vi) Operation Greens. These schemes aim at arresting post-harvest losses of horticulture and non-horticulture produce by encouraging the creation of cold storages/ primary processing/ and transportation facilities across the country. FINANCIAL ALLOCATION: PMKSY with an allocation of Rs. 6,000 crore is expected to leverage investment of Rs. 31,400 crore, handling of 334 lakh MT agro-produce valuing Rs. 1,04,125 crore, benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5,30,500 direct/ indirect employment in the country by the year 2019-20. SIGNIFICANCE: It will result in creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet. It will also provide a big boost to the growth of food processing sector in the country along with providing better prices to farmers and is a big step towards doubling of farmers’ income. Apart from this it will create huge employment opportunities especially in the rural areas and will help in reducing wastage of agricultural produce, increasing the processing level, availability of safe and convenient processed foods at affordable price to consumers and enhancing the export of the processed foods.
Context: Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India, is implementing different programmes under National Livestock Mission.
Under the programme financial assistance is provided to States/ Union Territories Governments for implementation of Rural Backyard Poultry Development (RBPD) and Innovative Poultry Productivity Project (IPPP). ABOUT NATIONAL LIVESTOCK MISSION National Livestock Mission (NLM) was launched in FY 2014-15 seeks to ensure quantitative and qualitative improvement in livestock production systems and capacity building of all stakeholders. The scheme is being implemented as a sub scheme of White Revolution – Rashtriya Pashudhan Vikas Yojana since April 2019. The Mission will cover everything relevant to improvement of livestock productivity and support projects and initiatives that are required for that purpose subject to condition that such initiatives which cannot be funded under other Centrally Sponsored Schemes under the Department. The mission is organised into the following four Sub – Missions:
- Sub -Mission on Livestock Development: It includes activities to address the concerns for overall development of livestock species including poultry, other than cattle and buffalo, with a holistic approach.
- Sub – Mission on Pig Development in North-Eastern Region: It will strive to forge synergies of R&D organizations through appropriate interventions, as may be required for holistic development of pigs in the North Eastern Region including genetic improvement, health cover and post-harvest operations.
- Sub – Mission on Feed and Fodder Development: It is designed to address the problems of scarcity of animal feed and fodder resources, to give a push to the livestock sector making it a competitive enterprise for India, and also to harness its export potential through adoption of improved and appropriate technologies best suited to specific agro –climatic region in both arable and non –arable areas.
- Sub -Mission on Skill Development, Technology Transfer and Extension: It will provide a platform to develop, adopt or adapt the technologies including frontline field demonstrations in collaboration with farmers, researchers and extension workers, etc. wherever it is not possible to achieve this through existing arrangements.
MODERNIZATION OF POULTRY IN INDIA
Poultry sector in India is divided into organized and unorganized sector. The commercial poultry sector is organized and 80% of market share is captured by commercial sector. The organized commercial is already modernized and technically improvised.
However, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India, is implementing Poultry Venture Capital Fund (PVCF) under “Entrepreneurship development and Employment generation” (EDEG) of National Livestock Mission. It is a bankable programme and the Central Government is providing subsidy through National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD) for those beneficiaries taking loan for PVCF. Further, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying is implementing a scheme namely “Assistance to States for control of Animal Diseases” (ASCAD) under “Livestock Health and Disease Control” (LH&DC) which covers the vaccination of economically important poultry diseases viz., Ranikhet Disease, Infectious Bursal Disease, Fowl Pox etc., including control and containment of emergent and exotic diseases like Avian Influenza. Department has developed Action plan for Preparedness, Control and Containment of Avian Influenza which was formulated in 2005 and revised in 2006, 2012 and 2015. ICAR –Central Avian Research Institute (CARI), Izatnagar, Bareilly has developed two pilot scale technologies for waste management and adoption of new renewable energy keeping in mind the issue of waste management. These are:
- Dilution, Acidification and Carbonization (DAC) Technology: This technology is used for all weather biogas generation exclusively from poultry excreta and further utilization of it is used as manure in agriculture.
- The most important point of this technology is that only poultry excreta are required for biogas production. Used slurry has good manure value and germination potential (>90%), hence can be easily applied in agricultural fields without burning effect on plants which is a common problem with crude poultry excreta.
- The overall impact of this technology is to alleviate environmental pollution, economize poultry production and generate additional income at poultry establishments.
- Aerobic composting of poultry wastes: The poultry waste in this technology includes litter, excreta, hatchery waste, slaughter waste, mortalities etc. This method has been standardized using various poultry wastes and carbonaceous material (tree leaves, grasses and other plant wastes) for conversion into manure for utilization in organic crop farming as an alternative to chemical fertilizers.
These two technologiesreduce pollutants, bad odourandflies from poultry establishments. ln addition, preparation of vermi-compostfrom poultry litter waste (cage litter) is also being practiced at ICAR institutes.
Context: Asian Development Bank (ADB) had recently prepared a Conceptual Development Plan (CDP) for Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC).
What does the Plan says? Under the Comprehensive Development Plan, 4 nodes have been identified for development purpose. These are: (i) Visakhapatnam, (ii) Machilipatnam, (iii) Donakonda and (iv) Chittoor. Amongst these nodes, Visakhapatnam and Chittoor have been prioritized by the Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP). Initial master planning of these two nodes were also completed by ADB. As per the proposal of GoAP, National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT) in its meeting held on 30th August, 2019 has accorded its approval for development of Vishakhapatnam and Chittoor as priority nodes in phase-1 of VCIC. LOAN ASSISTANCE: The loan has been agreed between State Government and Asian Development Bank (ADB). ADB has approved USD 631 million (in loans and grants) for the corridor, comprising a Multi-Tranche Financing Facility (MFF) as follows:
- Two-tranche MFF of USD 500 million to build key infrastructure;
- Two-tranche Policy Based Loan (PBL) of USD 125 million to support policy reforms and institutional development in the State.
- Grant of USD 5 million from the multi-donor Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF) to build climate change resilient infrastructure in Visakhapatnam.
- Technical assistance of USD 1 million to help the Andhra Pradesh local government implement policy reforms.
ABOUT VIZAG-CHENNAI INDUSTRIAL CORRIDOR
It is a key part of the India’s first coastal corridor i.e., East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC). VCIC is aligned with the Golden Quadrilateral (The Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) is a national highway network connecting most of the major industrial, agricultural and cultural centres of India. It forms a quadrilateral connecting the four major metro cities of India, viz., Delhi (north), Kolkata (east), Mumbai (west) and Chennai (south). At 5,846 kilometres (3,633 mi), it is the largest highway project in India and the fifth longest in the world.) and is poised to play a critical role in driving India’s Act East Policy and Make in India campaign.
Proposed Length: 800 km
Connectivity: It links India with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asian economies that form the bedrock of global manufacturing economy.The corridor traverses nine districts of the state of Andhra Pradesh.
VCIC is the first phase of the ECEC (being implemented in phased manner due to its vast scope), which will run from Kolkata to Kanyakumari, encompassing the four states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and West Bengal. GOI has selected the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as the lead partner for developing the ECEC.
Context: According to views of economists, Indian economy needs to be evaluated in terms of the global misery index (GMI).
What is it?
American economist Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins University, who is an applied economist has popularised the GMI concept. He has ranked India a measly 44 out of 95 countries on GMI. The higher the index, the more is the misery felt by average citizens. The benchmark index measures people’s “misery score” instead of the conventional gross domestic product (GDP). Thefirst such misery indexwas createdbyArthur Okun in the 1960s and was equal to the sum of unemployment rate figures and inflation to provide a snapshot of the US economy. In recent times, it has broadened to include other economic indicators, such as bank lending rates. A variation of the original misery index is the Bloomberg misery index, which is developed by the online publication. Now used in frequent observations, variations of the original misery index have become popular as a means to gauge the overall health of the global economy. Methodology followed: The calculation in Global Misery Index is based on the three parameters namely,
- Unemployment rate
- Inflation rate
- Lending rate
In order to calculate misery index, the annualised growth of GDP is subtracted from the sum total of these three rates. That gives a score which really defines how miserable people living in a particular geography are. n short, “Misery Index = [(Unemployment Rate + Inflation Rate + Lending Rate) – Annualised Growth of GDP]”
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